What Can I Do If The Agency Denied My Foia Request
In Illinois, 5 ILCS 140/3.5 section 9.5 gives us the answer. If you disagree with the Agencys reasoning of its denial, you can file a request for review in writing to the Public Access Coordinator in the Office of the Attorney General. This must be done no later than sixty days after the denial. Your request must be signed by you and include a summary of the arguments supporting your position. A person may also file a lawsuit in your local circuit court for injunctive and/or declaratory relief.
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What Happens If You Break The Law
If you operate a security camera outside of the law, you can be subject to enforcement action from the ICO, which could include a fine. In addition, individuals can take you to court and sue for compensation if youre unfairly recording them or their property. The ICO recommends inviting neighbours to view the security camera footage, so that you can allay any fears and head-off disputes before they hit the legal stage.
CCTV is a good tool to protect your property, but as all security cameras capture private information, its important to use any system responsibly.
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We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors code of practice to underpin these standards.
What Are The Concerns
Wi-Fi video camera recordingincluding the capture of still photos, which most Wi-Fi cameras are capable ofis subject to “reasonable expectation of privacy” guidelines under privacy law, and that can make using these devices a little tricky.
You cant record video in any location where a person would expect to have a high degree of privacy.
If youre on the street, in a bar, or even in your front yard, you have very differentand much looserreasonable expectations of privacy . But once youor your guestsstep into your home, theres a heightened expectation of what amount of privacy is reasonable, though that expectation may vary from room to room. For instance, you expect more privacy in a bathroom or bedroom than you do in a kitchen.
The use of security cameras, including nanny cams and Wi-Fi cameras, may also fall under federal and state wiretapping laws. But waitwiretapping is audio, so why is that important for security cameras? Most newer Wi-Fi security cameras, including all three of our top picks, record both audio and video, which puts those devices under the governance of wiretapping laws.
A trespasser waives any expectation of privacy in your home.
So does this mean you have to tell burglars that they may be recorded if they break into your house? Definitely not. A trespasser waives any expectation of privacy in your home. You can record that person, hand the recording over to the police, and use the recording in court.
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Im Having A Dispute With A Neighbour About Smoke From Their Bonfires Or Barbecues
If a bonfire appears dangerously out of control and you’re worried about the safety of people or property, call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.
Lighting a bonfire is not illegal, but the smoke can be a statutory nuisance. The environmental health department of your local council will be able to take action if the smoke from the bonfire is classed as a statutory nuisance.
You’ll need this information:
- what are the effects of the bonfire
- your details
The council can stop the person from committing a statutory nuisance, and failure to comply can lead to prosecution.
However, if the bonfires are only infrequent, it’s unlikely the council will take any action.
The following resources may also be of use:
How Do You Protect Yourself From Security Infringement
With the ability for laws around security cameras to change at the whims of the government, its hard to figure out what is and isnt legal. The best piece of advice is first to make sure that you are setting up indoor and outdoor security cameras for the right reasons. Things like security and protection are reasonable, so even if you record something that might be in the gray zone of legality, as long as your cameras are in plain sight and are in a public place, you should be safe from legal action.
They Also Can’t Search Your Property Without A Warrant Or Your Consent
Not only do police officers not have the right to enter your home without a warrant, but they also can’t search your property without one or your consent. But this right is rather recent it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled in Collins v. Virginia that “when a law enforcement officer physically intrudes on to gather evidence, a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment has occurred.”
& 720 Cameras See The Big Picture
360° & 720° surveillance cameras use a specialized fish eye or spherical camera lens to offer a far wider viewing area compared to a normal/standard camera. 360° cameras can see in all directions, though in one hemisphere only. 720° cameras can see in all directions at the same timeup/down and left/right.
These cameras offer a wide field of view in one camera, though they often suffer from poor resolution when zoomed in. Although they cover a far larger viewing area, the resulting image often looks warped compared to the flat view a standard camera shows. The image then needs to be run through software in order de-warp or flatten the image to make it useable. Higher-end video recorders/processors can do this automatically via software to allow you to see the full-size image flattened rather than circular.
Although 360° and 720° cameras may have the same resolution spec as that of a standard IP camera, that resolution is being spread over a much wider area and therefore offers fewer pixels per inch. Here is what this means, by way of an example. Assume two cameras, one a standard camera with a 130° field of view and the other a 720°camera, and both cameras are high-resolution 10MP models. This means the 720° camera has far less resolution per square inch it is starting with the same image sensor, 10MP in this case, though it has to spread that image across a far larger space and therefore will not look as crisp of a camera that only has a 130° field of view.
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Widespread Use By Law Enforcement
The use of video surveillance to detect, deter and prosecute crime has increased significantly over the last few yearsin Canada and abroad. Police and law enforcement authorities increasingly view it as a legitimate tool to combat crime and ward off criminal activityincluding terrorism. Recent events have heightened the interest of public authorities in deploying video-surveillance in public places. It is widespread in the United Kingdom and increasingly used by law enforcement and anti-terrorism authorities in the U.S. and Canada, particularly since September 2001.
Here at home, police and public security agencies monitor public parks and streets. Some cities have put in place video surveillance systems for specific festival periods. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police use cameras to monitor high-security areas such as Parliament Hill. Cameras are used to survey Canada-US border crossings. They are very extensively used in airports, and port authorities are becoming increasingly interested in using video cameras to monitor their facilities.
Not All States Require That You Show An Officer Your Identification
Of course, when you’re traveling internationally, you are legally obligated to show authorities your identification. However, when it comes to identifying yourself within the States, whether you are legally required to show an officer your ID is determined by each state.
In Alabama, for instance, the law states that a sheriff or any other officer of the law can “stop any person abroad in a public place whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a felony or other public offense and may demand of him his name, address, and an explanation of his actions.” But over in Maryland, an officer can only ask for identification if they believe that a person “may be wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun.”
Regardless of which state you’re in, keep in mind that you are never obligated to identify yourself to an officer if they have no reason to suspect you of committing a crime.
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Im Having A Dispute With A Neighbour About Our Property Boundaries
Unless a crime has been committed, or is in progress, we dont have the authority to intervene in a boundary dispute.
If you cant find an amicable solution with your neighbour, we suggest asking the advice of a solicitor to resolve this.
You could also contact your bank, building society, or whoever holds your deeds, to confirm the boundaries.
You may also find these resources useful:
Do You Need Consent To Record Someone With Your Home Security Camera
So you checked out our best security cameras page and are considering an upgrade. But does this mean youll have to get everyone who comes into your house to sign a waiver? What about folks who walk by your front door do you need consent from them if they end up on camera? Although the laws arent overly explicit and vary by state, weve gone through the trouble of summarizing them below.
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Home Security Camera Systems Monitor Kids & The Elderly
Many parents have babysitters and nannies watch their children while theyre away. These security cameras can keep you informed of whats happening at home. Even when youre out of town, youll be able to check in with your smartphone and see how things are going.
And youll also find more comfort knowing that your loved one is safe. If a home health nurse is caring for an elderly family member, and if an emergency should happen, the home security system will summon first responders with the push of a button.
Domestic Cctv Systems Guidance For People Being Filmed
Some users of domestic CCTV systems need to comply with data protection laws. This depends on what their cameras can see.
Data protection laws dont apply if the cameras cover only the users own private property, including their garden. Therefore, visitors caught on these cameras dont have specific data protection rights in relation to the images captured on those cameras.
But what if the cameras capture images of people outside the boundary of the users property for example, in neighbours homes or gardens, in shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street? Then neighbours, passers-by and anyone else caught on camera will have rights under the data protection laws.
Capturing and recording such images is not itself a breach of the data protection laws. But CCTV users must ensure they comply with these laws and respect the data protection rights of people whose images they capture.
This applies to any video surveillance equipment mounted or fixed on a home, and can include cameras fitted into doorbells.
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Option #: Enable 80211w Protected Management Frames
If your internet router supports 802.11w, you should be able to enable Protected Management Frames in your router. This protection can help prevent a wireless device from dropping from your network.
Therefore enabling this protection might help prevent some WiFi jammers. More expensive jamming devices will still work, but ones that rely on disassociation attacks will no longer succeed in blocking your Ring doorbell footage from being sent to Rings servers.
Check In On Your Pets With Home Monitoring Cameras
With security cameras installed around your property, youll also be able to check in on your pets. This can be a real comfort if your pet recently underwent surgery or is rehabilitating from an injury.
On the lighter side, youll be able to laugh with your friends at how goofy your pets are. And youll know when theyre making a mess out of the garbage in the kitchen, too.
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What Can I Request Under Foia
A request can be made for any agency record. However, you must articulate with specificity what kind of documents you seek and what kind of format you would like to receive them. An agency does not need to create new records, research or analyze its records, or answer questions when responding to the requests. A FOIA request is a request for document production and that is it.
It’s Also Possible For Them To Get Access To Your Dna Through Dna Testing Kit Companies
Think twice before sending your DNA in to get tested by a company like 23andMe or Ancestry. Though it’s extremely uncommon, DNA-testing companies like these make it clear on their websites that they will comply with government and law enforcement requests for user information and DNA samples. In 2018, a sample from an ancestry website even helped Sacramento authorities catch the infamous Golden State Killer.
What The Law Says About Your Cctv Footage
If the CCTV is capturing footage of members of the public in public areas, the police are able to get access to this and dont need permission in the same way as they do with private footage.
When it comes to your personal CCTV footage, police can get access to it but it must be in accordance with Section 19 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act . This states that they can have it if they believe it is evidence in relation to an offence which he is investigating or any other offence.
Using Video Surveillance As Evidence In Court
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The surge in digital recording equipment and surveillance video in courts has catapulted. Today, video surveillance technology has advanced in such a way that occurrences can be viewed from various angles giving the court more evidence to work with.
However, its not all-smooth sailing. The citizenry are now holding a sort of mutiny against businesses and various organizations in courts for being sketchy in properly maintaining security and/or surveillance systems.
The public concludes that if an organization has video cameras installed and noticeable, they have proposing intent to protect. Therefore, the public has a right to expect this protection. Because of this, to a certain degree, liability is involved and the people are challenging businesses along this line and winning in court.
Over the last two decades, surveillance was evidenced on videotape, costly, and tricky to utilize and stock as evidence. It was unlikely that a litigation team would get hold of evidence for court cases, and when they did, it was little better than a homemade video shot from an irrelevant awkward angle. The problem is video surveillance is not a fool proof method. The inability to properly secure detail leading to arrest and conviction can become a big issue at best.
IS USING VIDEO SURVEILLANCE OKAY?
RULES OF EVIDENCE
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Common Ways Video Evidence May Be Deemed Inadmissible
In your defense, we may use 3 common ways to have the Judge decide that the video evidence shouldnt be presented at trial or that it could be used to help your defense:
It Was Improperly Obtained
Surveillance camera footage, like any other evidence, must be properly obtained by law enforcement for it to be admissibleor allowedin court.
If it is not properly obtained, all evidence, and any discoveries that the evidence may lead to, can be thrown out. You may have heard the fruit of a poisonous tree.
But how does the police properly obtain the surveillance camera footage? The police need a warrant.
Without a warrant, a persons 4th Amendment rights are being violated. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution places limits on the power of the police to make arrests, search people and their property, and size objects/contrabandthese limits are the bedrock of search-and-seizure law.
Without a warrant, any evidence seized by an unreasonable searchsuch as surveillance footagecannot be used as direct evidence against the defendant in criminal prosecution. This is known as the exclusionary rule.
There is a Timestamp Error
While you may feel video evidence seems bulletproof in court, there are some minor technicalities that can make it inadmissible.
The Whole Story Isnt Told on Surveillance
Video evidence does not always tell the whole story.
Request Cctv Footage Of Yourself
You have the right to request CCTV footage of yourself.
You need to make a request to the owner of the CCTV system. You can do this either in writing or verbally.
The owners details are usually written on a sign attached to the camera, unless the owner is obvious .
Tell them youre requesting information held about you under data protection law. The Information Commissioners Office has guidance about getting copies of your personal data.
Provide information to help the owner identify you, for example:
- a specific date and time
- proof of your identity
The CCTV owner must usually provide the footage free of charge within 1 calendar month.
Most CCTV footage is deleted 30 days after its recorded.
The CCTV owner might not be allowed to share any footage if:
- other people can be seen in it
- theyre not able to edit out people to protect their identity
The CCTV owner can invite you to a viewing of the footage if:
- theyre unable to provide you with the footage itself
- you agree to that arrangement
They can refuse your request if sharing the footage could put an ongoing criminal investigation at risk.
The ICO has guidance about requesting footage:
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